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  1. The main talking point at the club this week was the Under 18's FA Youth Cup tie on Thursday. Melford's opponents Bury Town play their league football at a higher level (the Eastern Junior Alliance) but Craig Power's side more than matched them on the night and it was a great game to watch, probably the most entertaining game at Stoneylands in recent years.

    For a match to be really entertaining to watch at this level you need several things to come together all at once: a sense of occasion, a large crowd around the 100 mark, good weather conditions for football, a nice pitch, and two evenly matched teams who both play good football. All of those factors don't come together very often at Melford but we had them all on Thursday and as a result it was a very memorable occasion.

    The only disappointment of course was the way the game ended, to lose on penalties is always tough but to lose because an injured player misses a penalty is especially cruel. It was unfortunate but nobody could have predicted that Tom would need to take a penalty, as how often do all 22 players take a penalty in a shootout? But credit to Tom for stepping up (or hobbling up) and giving it a go for the team.

    Perhaps the clearest sign that it wasn't going to be Melford's night was in the second half of normal time when the assistant referee (with an excellent view of the incident) flagged for a penalty but the referee ignored him, when that happens you know lady luck isn't on your side!

    In the end it was a bit like the conclusion of the first Rocky film, although Rocky has lost he has given absolutely everything and gone toe to toe with an opponent most people expected to beat him with ease, when you've done that in sport there should be immense pride and hopefully that's how all of the of the Under 18s will look back on Thursday evening.

    On Saturday the 1st Team put in a good performance at in-form Great Yarmouth Town but lost to two second half goals. It was the first time in over a year that our 1st Team have named a squad that didn't include any U18 players but after Thursday's exhausting FA Youth Cup encounter that was always to be expected. By all accounts Melford played well in difficult circumstances and will now look forward to two key matches this week starting on Wednesday at home to AFC Sudbury Reserves in the Red Insure Cup then another home match against Downham Town in the league on Saturday.

    Elsewhere, there were narrow defeats this weekend for the Reserves (2-3 at home to Halstead Town) and the Ladies (1-2 at home to Brantham Athletic). More details of both of those matches to follow shortly.

     

     

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